Munguba H, Nikouei K, Hochgerner H, Oberst P, Kouznetsova A, Ryge J, Muñoz-Manchado AB, Close J, Batista-Brito R, Linnarsson S, Hjerling-Leffler J
Neuron - (-) - [2023-08-15; online 2023-08-15]
Although cardinal cortical interneuron identity is established upon cell-cycle exit, it remains unclear whether specific interneuron subtypes are pre-established, and if so, how their identity is maintained prior to circuit integration. We conditionally removed Sox6 (Sox6-cKO) in migrating somatostatin (Sst+) interneurons and assessed the effects on their mature identity. In adolescent mice, five of eight molecular Sst+ subtypes were nearly absent in the Sox6-cKO cortex without a reduction in cell number. Sox6-cKO cells displayed electrophysiological maturity and expressed genes enriched within the broad class of Sst+ interneurons. Furthermore, we could infer subtype identity prior to cortical integration (embryonic day 18.5), suggesting that the loss in subtype was due to disrupted subtype maintenance. Conversely, Sox6 removal at postnatal day 7 did not disrupt marker expression in the mature cortex. Therefore, Sox6 is necessary during migration for maintenance of Sst+ subtype identity, indicating that subtype maintenance requires active transcriptional programs.